The United States of Erin

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I’m a devoted fan of the Showtime series The United States of Tara starring Toni Collette, one of my favorite actresses. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out. Coincidentally, it’s set here in Overland Park, Kansas.

Image courtesy of www.sho.com

Like Tara, I’ve been struggling, although I certainly don’t have DID. I’ve wanted to write about it but I haven’t. Writing it makes it real and makes me vulnerable. Yet this is what writing & blogging are about: letting the real me hang out, guts and all. And not being afraid of what you’ll think.

I’m depressed. I feel guilty admitting it because I’m pregnant, which means I’m supposed to be glowing, giddy and gushing all kinds of positive stuff. Don’t get me wrong–I love this little red bean and I’m excited to meet her in October–but my depression is lurking around, making it hard to be happy much of the time.

Some of you may remember Infertile Erin (she was not a blogger, however), who went through so much to conceive her twins 6+ years ago. Infertile Erin pitched her bottle of Prozac as soon as she saw the two pink plus signs. She sits on my shoulder reprimanding me for “wallowing,” wagging her index finger at me. She doesn’t understand how I can feel like this when such a precious gift has simply found its way here–without going through grueling in vitro this time. Infertile Erin makes me feel ashamed.

(There are other Erins, of course. There’s Mean Mommy Erin who yells at the kids too much. There’s Cranky Wife Erin who nags at her husband incessantly. There’s Bad Friend Erin who has all but disappeared and is terrible about keeping in touch. And there is Happy Pregnant Erin, but she usually reserves her appearances for doctors’ visits and a few short hours afterwards. Let’s not forget I-Feel-Fat Erin, who both loves and loathes her growing belly at the same time.)

Ironically, the red bean was conceived in the midst of a major depressive episode, the worst one I’ve had in a very long time. I was already in therapy and taking medication (Cymbalta), but after I fell in the pit my psychiatrist increased my dosage. Just when I was beginning to feel human again, we found out I was pregnant and I immediately had to wean off of it. I switched to Prozac because it’s a much older drug, and there have been far more studies done on its side effects, etc. Not taking anything was not an option, and still isn’t. Even my OB maintains that “A happy mom means a happy baby,” and I agree.

Only I haven’t been happy. So my doctor just increased my Prozac dose.

Some people may read this and strongly disagree with my decision to take anti-depressants while pregnant. Those people have not been in my shoes. Both my psychiatrist and my OB are fine with my taking Prozac, and they’re actually encouraging me, especially given my history. Depression runs in my family and I have been living with it for most of my life. I can feel myself slipping off the edge and I know when it’s time to call in the big guns.

That time is now.

This will not last. I won’t let it. But it’s probably more common than people realize. We often hear about depression and PPD, but what about depression during pregnancy? It does exist. And it doesn’t have to go untreated. I know there are others out there like me–other women who are pregnant and dealing with depression. I’d love to hear from you.

***Today a blessing appeared in the form of a post written by Aunt Becky of Mommy Wants Vodka. Please go read about her experiences with antepartum depression here: (barely) Surviving Prepartum Depression.

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  • http://www.4andcounting.blogspot.com nicole_asmanyasgiven

    I am glad you are doing all you can to take care of yourself.  Your baby wants a healthy mama, and if that means medication, then that is what you do.  I hope you get nothing but support.

    • Anonymous

      Nicole,

      Thank you so much for stopping by, and for your sweet comments. ;-)

  • http://profiles.google.com/randomblogette Random Blogette

    So proud of you for taking care of yourself Erin. It is ok. It really is upsetting to feel this way during a pregnancy, but I was there too and went through the same thing. I have a long family history of depression. I have been off my meds for a little over a year for the first time in a long time. Taking care of this and accepting what is going on right now will help you with the potential PPD that will come after the little red bean is born. She will be ok and you will be ok. HUGS!

    • Anonymous

      Jayme,

      Thank you, dollface. What would I do without you? You always check in when I need you most. Love you! xoxox

  • http://twitter.com/galitbreen Galit Breen

    sending you love and a lot of it. XO

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Galit. I need it. XOXO back atcha!

  • http://notsuperjustmom.blogspot.com Miranda

    I’m stopping by to validate you on this struggle with antenatal depression. It is real and deserves as much concern as we give to women with PPD. I hope you find your way back to center soon.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so very much, Miranda. I appreciate your taking the time to stop by and validate my feelings.

  • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea B.

    Amen to the happy mommy = happy and healthy baby. I had mega anxiety so I took Zoloft during my pregnancy, and yes, pregnancy depression and anxiety are so true and so real. You should participate in #ppdchats on Mondays as there are many of us there who have been where you are. There is also a great book I’ve heard of but not yet read called Pregnant on Prozac. You’re not alone. I’m sorry you’re in a funk of a time right now, and no, I know that does not mean you love your bean any less, or you’re any less happy than you really are inside and should be, but it’s alright to let the sadness show through. And lean on your friends – myself included please. And know we’re here to listen to you – whatever you’re experiencing. And man, I hope you’re due at the end of October, cause your baby girl would be like me, a Scorpio. Unless my sign changed, ugh, it did, didn’t it? Well, having a birthday around Halloween makes fall so much fun, so there – that’s something to look forward to. But I tangent. Much love and huge hugs and support. Hang in there and keep taking care of YOU, please.

    • Anonymous

      Andrea,

      Please tell me more about the #ppdchats…what time zone/time frame? And yes, my due date is 10/29. Thank you so much, your support means a great deal to me. It’s always comforting hearing from others who have been there and have been on medication, too. ;-)
      xoxo

  • http://loveyourmessbook.com Allison Nazarian

    sending you lots of love and support — wish i would have had your cojones and backbone when i was pregnant 14 and 12 years ago! xo

    • Anonymous

      Allison,

      I love you. #thatisall
      Hope you are having a blast in NYC! Happy early birthday! xoxo

  • Theinquisitivemom

    I think you are brave for sharing your experience here. I am glad you have doctors you can be honest with and trust. Pregnancy is difficult and challening even when depression isn’t a factor. You definitely need to care for yourself and it sounds like you have a great team of people supporting you. Hang in there, my friend.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, sweet mama. I am so blessed to have wonderful bloggy friends like you! I hope you and the baby are doing well, I think of you often! xoxo

  • Kir

    I felt very out of control during my pregnancy. Just when I started to feel good about ‘finally’ being pregnant, I went into preterm labor and on bedrest. I stopped blogging, I stopped talking, I took all I had to just breath every day and get to the next dr appt, the next u/s, the next milestone.

    I will never judge your choiceto take the Prozac, I believe you are smart and brave for dong it, writing it, owning it. We as moms are all DIDs…we all have those sides of us that can hamper us or our families…that’s why I take Zoloft right now…don’t ever think that u are not doing the right thing, yu are! You are stronger and more awesome than u know.
    Xoxo

    • Anonymous

      Kirsten,

      You’re spot on, we’re all DID’s with multiple sides to us at times… I appreciate your honesty here and it always helps to know I’m not alone. I can’t imagine being on bedrest and how debilitating that must’ve been. You know my girls were preemies and that was hard enough, but at least i wasn’t in preterm labor/on bedrest. You are amazing!

  • Bridget

    You are not alone. I’ll never be able to put this as eloquently as you but here goes. I’m pregnant and on Prozac too. I’ve been on one medication or another for the better part of a decade. When we began trying to have a baby I switched from paxil to Prozac for the same reasons as you–it’s considered safer and my doctor was all for it. I take the medicine mostly for anxiety which can be equally as debilitating as depression. And, I feel guilty too or at least I felt guilty at first like I was somehow already failing as a mom by continuing to take it when I got pregnant. But, you know what my mental well being (and yours) is equally as important ad my physical well being while pregnant. After experiencing years of trying to get pregnant, a miscarriage, and now in the midst of starting my third trimester I have learned a lot about myself. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for this baby and that includes ignoring what negative people have to say and listening to my doctor who is very supportive.you are doing what’s best for you and bean. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Let me know if you need anything. It will get easier. I find these difficult times ebb. And flow —you just have to wade through the crappy times the best you can until it gets easier and it will. Lots of love-bridget

    • Anonymous

      Bridget,

      Thank you so much. It helps to hear from others who have been there. I deal with some anxiety as well, and I know how difficult that can be, and am sure it’s harder when you’re pregnant, too. Lots of love to you, thank you for your kind comments, and congratulations on YOUR bean! ;-)

  • http://www.getyourlifeingear.com Kellie J. Walker

    Ah, yes. You touch on one of my personal philosophies: The word ‘should’ does not belong in a sentence involving emotions and feelings… unless the sentence is, ‘You should feel however you feel.’

    The idea that there is a ‘right’ way to feel and a ‘wrong’ way to feel is preposterous and, in my opinion, dangerous. It helps perpetuate a feeling of shame for those who don’t feel the ‘right’ way about situations.

    Feelings are feelings. They are neither good nor bad; neither right nor wrong. Some may be unpleasant, but they simply are what they are. How you act in response to those feelings is what matters. And, in my opinion, you’re acting appropriately. You feel depressed. You know from experience that you need help. You’re working with medical professionals you trust to handle your condition.

    I applaud you for being honest – with yourself and with your doctors (so they can provide the best medical advice). And, I thank you for having the courage to discuss something so deeply personal so openly. Whether they comment or not, I hope you know that you’ve helped and inspired many others who are in the same or similar situations.

    Hugs & love to you and your little red bean.

    • Anonymous

      Kellie,

      I think I am going to print out your kick-ass comment and tape it up in pertinent places all over my house—to remind myself. You are so right, that we should only feel however we feel. I hate the word “should,” and I use it far too often in connection w/ things about myself, my life. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. Thank you. ;-)

      • http://www.getyourlifeingear.com Kellie J. Walker

        Erin,

        Your reply made my day. It truly did.

        I’m so, so glad that my comment was helpful to you. And, if it will help you remember to stop ‘shoulding’ all over yourself, please do print it and post in all over your house. You could even create a ‘should’ jar (sort of like a ‘swear’ jar) to help break the habit. :-)

        If all else fails, drop me a line. I’m always here if you need a reminder.

        Lots of hugs, love and prayers to you and your little bean.

        Thanks again for being such a courageous woman!

  • http://twitter.com/frelle JennaFarelyn

    i love your honesty and support you 100%. Your decision is a good one, it involves quality of life and sanity.  I have not been on medication in pregnancy, but I have taken anti-depressants while exclusively breastfeeding.. something that was a major decision for me. I am about to get back on medication for the first time in 18 months.. I am glad to have your hand to hold. *HUG* Your bravery and vulnerability are so appreciated.  You speak on behalf of those who cannot share and you validate their struggle.. both today as you publish and later when people find this post. So much love and respect for you and for your decision to speak out.

    • Anonymous

      Frelle,

      I thought I replied to this yesterday, but my computer must’ve eaten my comment. Thank you for everything, especially for your suggestions about BBT. I could say all the same things about you and your blog—you are brave to speak about things and not keep silent. I hope we are both helping others who are struggling. Lots of love back to you. MWAH!

  • http://www.theumbels.com Evonne

    Blogging about things does make it feel more real.  But it also puts you out there to get support from others.  If both you and your doctors feel you need to take something, than you should.  Not taking anything can’t be good for anyone involved.

    I wish I had more words of advice, but I’ve never had to deal with depression myself.  Only others going through it.  I do support the decision you made to keep yourself healthy and grow that baby!

    • Anonymous

      Evonne,

      This means a lot to me, especially since you are someone who hasn’t had any experience with depression. It gives me hope that maybe there are more people out there who can still empathize and realize the need for medication to treat things—just like I take medication for my thyroid, you know? So thank you. You’ve made me feel all warm and fuzzy.

  • AwaywegoNancy

    Oh, Erin. I love your open heart today and always. I am so glad you have a team supporting you now.

    Kellie had such wise advice. I may pin it up for me. You feel how you feel. And you are responding to protect her and nurture yourself.

    And, I fear I must say this: I read they are cancelling Tara.

    Xoxo

    • Anonymous

      Nancy,

      Thank you, friend. And yes, I love what she said too–you feel how you feel. It’s just hard sometimes…and will be even harder if they cancel Tara! xoxoxo

  • Tim@sogeshirts

    I think you are definitely making the right decision here to treat yourself. Depression sucks and having gone through it myself I think getting help for yourself will benefit you and your future baby. You deserve happiness and I think you are quite brave for sharing this.

    Also US of Tara is a fantastic show. I need to watch season three asap. 

    • Anonymous

      Tim,
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and for reading. I’m glad you’re a Tara fan, too! Season 3 has been amazing—although I’ve heard it’s being canceled, which makes me terribly sad!

  • Annie Stone

    When I was pregnant with my second, Ethan, I was terribly sick.  They hospitalized me, and then put me on a pump to adminster IV drugs to keep me from getting sick.  Never having dealt with a significant illness before, I was not prepared for how helpless or how terrible I felt.  I could not care for myself let alone my husband or my 2 year old daughter.  I slipped into a depression but I didn’t realize it.  It was only when hubs came home and I told him that I wanted an abortion so I didn’t have to feel like that anymore.  I was in the office on meds the next day.
    Happy moms do = happy babies.
    Try not to beat yourself up!
    Taking care of yourself IS taking care of the baby.:)

    • Anonymous

      Annie,

      You are a gem. Thank you for being so honest with me/us here in the comments. I guess I could consider myself lucky in that regard because I know depression well enough to recognize it when it’s happening…and perhaps others do not, and so they suffer in silence for a long time?

      Feeling lucky to have you in my corner. Thank you. HUGS! xoxo

  • Ash

    Erin, I so want to hug you tight and tell you to not worry. To listen to the doctors. To tell the rest of the world to go to Hell. My deep dark days didn’t arrive until after my first one arrived, but I think that’s only because I didn’t acknowledge my thoughts during my pregnancy. You’re so right, we’re taught that of course you will glow and smile and be “happy.” I played the part, but it could have been so much easier, so much better. Help yourself my friend. She will benefit from it. I’m certain.

    • Anonymous

      Ash,

      What would I do without you? I don’t have any other words. Except thank you. And I love you. XOXO

  • http://twitter.com/musingsdemommy Musings de Mommy

    Oh my friend. I am so glad you wrote this post. Sharing this message is what helps everyone. I, too, as I think you know, have suffered from depression for all of my adult life. When I got pregnant the first time, I, too, ditched my antidepressants. THAT SUCKED. The second time around, I took Zoloft and the medicine helped manage my depression so much.

    I understand. I understand the dark. I understand the feeling of standing on slippery ground and losing your footing. I understand. And I’m sending you space and freedom and a giant hug. xoxo

    • Anonymous

      Oh Denise,

      Your comment made me all teary. How did you know I needed that giant hug? And to hear all of your experiences and feel your support through the computer screen? You are a doll. I am so lucky to have a friend in you. XOXOXO

  • Anonymous

    Erin, this post is lovely.  As much as it makes me want to hug you?  You put into words what so many women feel, but don’t want to admit. 

    You have written a very, VERY important post, my dear.  And done it well.

    That being said?  What to do to treat it is TOTALLY up to you and I think you are choosing wisely.  I am going to remain on my meds as I go into (or try to go into) another pregnancy too.

    • Anonymous

      Katie,

      Thank you for coming by and being so supportive. I hope if there are others out there who need to read this that they will find it…because it does need to be talked about.

      lots of love & hugs to you, my dear.
      XOXOXO

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com/ Elaine

    I love you my friend and I know that you are doing what is best for you and your current babies and the little girl that is on the way.  And please know that you are NOT alone.  We are here for you as best we can be from afar. xoxoxoxo

    • Anonymous

      Elaine,

      I love you too, and your support means the world to me. ps. Love the dress you made for Katie—so jealous of your sewing talent! XOOX

  • Stephanie

    I say…brava for talking about it because you are right, a lot of people will strongly disagree but I do not.  I know nothing about anti depressants however I do know a happy mommy means a happy baby and your doctors are okay with it and they surely know your situation much better then any of us!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Stephanie! You are awesome and your comments and support mean the world to me! xoxoxo

  • http://www.anutinanutshell.com blueviolet

    I think the stigma is beginning to disappear about anti-depressants, don’t you? I think you and your doctor are very wise to follow this course. Depression is very serious, and the blessing is that it can be treated. :)

    • Anonymous

      Liz,

      I definitely think the general stigma about anti-depressants is lifting…but I also think some people are seriously against taking them when pregnant/nursing/etc. Which doesn’t mean I don’t have my concerns, but in the end, I have to do what’s best—and it’s too scary to think about what could happen if I don’t take medication…

      Thank you so much for your support and your kind words. XOXOXO

  • http://anattitudeadjustment.com Jana @ AnAttitudeAdjustment

    I have heard of depression during pregnancy. Do you know if it limits depression after pregnancy, or is there no correlation? As someone who had a mild episode (and I’m lucky it was mild) of post-partum depression after my second, I think whatever you need to do to stay sane and be happy for yourself and your family is the way to go. Good luck.

    • Anonymous

      Jana,

      I think there are definitely correlations between depression and depression that exists pre/post partum. I wasn’t depressed during my first pregnancy…and am hopeful this won’t last much longer. At least I know the signs, and I can be prepared for PPD just in case.

  • http://makemommygosomethingsomething.com Kimberly All Work & No Play

    You do what you need to do to be well. Fuck the people who judge. Love you and want you to be well. You have this girls 100% support in this.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Kimberly. Love your line “Fuck the people who judge.” I try to have that attitude, yet when I hit “publish” on this? I still worried….sigh. But your support means a great deal to me. You have no idea. xoxo

  • bywordofmouth

    So proud of you for speaking out and acknowledging the slipping off the edge.
    Taking it seriously and keeping your emotions in check shows how much of a grip you have on all of this … pat yourself on the back, doing something a little special for you … sometimes a YAY Me is in order ;)

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Nicole…I wish I could do a YAY Me right now, but not there yet. Trying, I really am. And I hope the bean knows. I don’t want her to feel my sadness. It’s not fair.
      ;-(

  • Shorty

    I have a friend who also was on anti-depressants during her pregnancy.  You need to do what is good for you, and medically this is necessary, like taking something for thyroid or any other medical reason. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much, Shorty. I appreciate your support and coincidentally I also take thyroid medication and wonder how much that could be part of what’s going on…my levels have been wacky since the bean was conceived…they just upped my Synthroid. We’ll see, I guess…hope you are glowing & feeling great!

  • Heide

    Big hugs to you, mama.  Try not to waste time on the guilt.  You can only do what you can do, you are being responsible and getting advice from your docs.  Just put one foot in front of the other, you will get to the other side.  XOXOXO

    • Anonymous

      Heide,

      Thank you, lovely friend. Having your support means so much to me. XOXO

  • Taming Insanity

    I firmly believe taking your medication and talking to your doctors is the single best thing you can do for your baby. You’re an amazing mom. Keep talking about it – we’ll all be here.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, KLZ. Love you.

  • Anonymous

    Sweetie I had you on my mind yesterday when I had not seen you in a while. I said a little prayer that Yahweh knew where you were and would hold you and bean in the palm of His hand while you were dealing with whatever it was that laid you on my heart. I know so many say ohh trust God to heal and I believe that but I also know that he told Luke to heal thyself. I believe if he didn’t want us to have medications then he would not have allowed us the knowledge to find and treat things. You do what you do for you and your little red bean. We will be here loving and supporting you . I am sending y9ou HUGE hugs…and lots of love

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Angel. As always I know you are watching over me and I appreciate it! xoxo

  • http://profiles.google.com/twonormalmoms Ally Wilson

    Erin – you have no idea how glad I am to hear someone broach this. I went through depression during pregnancy and no one knew what to do with me. Still, if I tell someone it happened, they look at me with a puzzled look. I threw up for 5 months – during that time, the depression set in, and when I finally stopped throwing up, I was deep in the throes – crying constantly for reasons I couldn’t put words to. People would pat my shoulder and tell me it would all be okay. I felt like a horrible person for being so sad during a time that should have been one of the happiest in my life. It took time, but I did get better. I still occasionally battle depressive episodes. I just wish I’d known more then, that I’d asked for help, that someone would have listened.

    • Anonymous

      Ally,

      You are such a sweetheart and I love knowing that you have been where I am, and that you survived…because some days? I feel like I have no one to turn to. You also know I’m no stranger to depression, so at least I can recognize when it’s time to get help. And I’m glad I have the resources to do so. And friends who support me! XOXO

  • Sarah

    This is a very real thing, and I am glad you are speaking of it. I had pregnancy depression and severe postpartum depression (which went undiagnosed during my first pregnancy,and the first month postpartum). With my second child, I went on medication while pregnant, and had only minor baby blues afterwards. It worked. I know that some may have thought negatively of my decision, but my doctor and I knew what I needed.

    • Anonymous

      Sarah,

      Thank you for validating what I’m feeling. It helps more than you know. I’m so happy to hear you got the help you needed, and that your doctor was willing to give it—it amazes me that there are some doctors out there who won’t/don’t! And don’t believe in it or don’t support the women going through it. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://profiles.google.com/twonormalmoms Ally Wilson

    And by the way? Anyone who judges you for talking with your doctors and making a medication decision that is best for you AND your baby needs to bugger off. They can go to medical school and THEN they can judge and give advice.

    • Anonymous

      Amen, Ally! Thank you for saying that. I hope the haters will keep their thoughts to themselves! xoxoxo

  • http://www.fromtracie.com From Tracie

    Erin, I remember having depressive periods during my pregnancy. Everyone around me was so happy about the miracle that was growing inside of me, and I was happy too….really, but the depression would sneak in there and attack when I least expected it. 

    I think you are making the super responsible choice to take the Prozac, other people’s reactions be damned. I would imagine that anyone who would question your (and your doctor’s) choice to continue medication, has not walked through depression and does not realize how serious that can be. 

    You are beautiful in the midst of your vulnerability, and your strength and love show through. I’m so sorry that you aren’t having one of those “happy and glowy” pregnancies, but I’m SO proud of you for making the hard choices – to take care of yourself, to reach out for help, to bare your heart here in this public place. I’m sending lots of love to you (and all of your Erin-states) and your little red bean. 

    • Anonymous

      Tracie,

      Words cannot begin to express my gratitude to you for sharing these kind words and thoughts. Despite how it may sound in this post, taking hte drugs isn’t an easy choice, and I worry about it constantly. But it’s not really a choice—I have to DO something—and I want the bean to be happy as much as she possibly can be. I love you.

  • http://www.momsaidwhat.com Molly

    I hope that you will add Incredibly-Brave-Erin to the many beautiful facets that make you who you are.  I’m a first time reader who greatly appreciates your honesty.  The ride of pregnancy is not always the happy train it is publicly portrayed to be.  Thank you, Incredibly-Brave-Erin for sharing your story, and for doing what is right for YOU and your baby. 

    • Anonymous

      Molly,

      Your comment made my eyes wet. I certainly feel anything but brave right now. But I thank you for taking the time to leave me some comment love. THANK YOU!

  • Kate Hopper

    It’s so important that you know you need the medication and are taking it. I’m so sorry, though, that you are still struggling with depression. I’m keeping you in my thoughts!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Kate—for both reading and leaving me some sweet comments. I appreciate it!

  • Mary Havlicek

    Erin, I am going through the EXACT same thing as you – 12 weeks pregnant and fighting a sometimes uphill battle against depression. I came off antidepressants as soon as I learned I was pregnant. So far, I’ve been doing surprisingly well, but the bad days have begun to become a little more frequent. You can be darn sure if things get worse, I, too, will go back to medication. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of yourself while you’re pregnant. It’s like the oxygen mask dealie – you gotta put yours on first before you can help others with theirs. You have to take care of you. I support you 1000% in taking medication and I hope that you do begin to feel better. Please know you’re in my thoughts, and thank you so much for writing what I just couldn’t yet.

    • Anonymous

      Mary,

      Thank you…seriously. It means so much that you came here and left me this note, and I feel less lonely already. I am almost 20 weeks with my 3rd child (I have twins from in vitro who are 5 1/2 years old). The oxygen mask analogy is spot on. I need to keep that in my head. Thank you for reading, commenting, and for your support. If you ever need or want to talk, just say the word! I am behind you 1000%, too! HUGS!

  • http://www.bellebeanchicagodog.com/ Liz

    Honestly, because of some circumstances during my pregnancy, my OB thinks my depression started then, and spiraled further with Kate’s immediate hospitalization and my neighbor’s baby’s birth/death.

    I saw to Hell with those who give you crap, Erin. They aren’t worth your worry. :)

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, sweet Liz. I appreciate your support and kind comments so much more than I could ever say. XOXO

  • Anonymous

    Hang in there, babe. And let’s plan a park outing with the hooligans soon – we can let them play and I can drink and you can wish you could drink. Mwah.

    • Anonymous

      Sheila,

      Thank you. My gals would love to go to the park. And I can sneak a teensy swig of your Stella on the side. Hope you are having fun and let’s chat when you get back to KC!
      xoxo

  • http://twitter.com/juliecgardner Julie Gardner

    Reading these words, I can’t help but think everyone sees this truth: that your decisions are based on what is best for your family. Period. 

    No one could doubt your love for your children, Erin.  Count me in on the landslide of people supporting you.

    • Anonymous

      Julie,

      I have no word..s. I wish everyone would see the situation the way you do. Unfortunately there are a lot of goofballs out there who doubt what I am doing. I have to think those people have no experience w/ depression themselves, on any level….thank you, Julie. You are a doll and I adore you! xoxo

  • Christi

    Sweetie, even women who don’t *normally* suffer from depression should know how easily your hormones take the reins of your life when the oven is turned on to bake a little bun (or, in your case, BEAN).  It is a vicious cycle of depression and guilt over said depression that seems to consume every moment of what should be one of the most special and magical times of a woman’s life.  Good for you for taking control and trying to keep yourself happy.  Good for your doctors for being realistic and not being “preachy.”  Give yourself some breathing room.  You are not alone…you are not “bad”…and you WILL be okay!!!  [HUGS}

    • Anonymous

      Christi,

      Hugs to you, friend. I needed to hear/read this today. Sometimes all I want is a hug and for someone to say, “It’s going to be okay.” And I felt that from you just now, albeit through cyberspace, and it was very comforting. THANK YOU! MWAH! xoxo

  • Heather O

    I love you Erin Margolin … I love you to prego bits and bits. You do what you need to do to take care of yourself. You amaze me with your strength and writing. I had a horrible bout with my 8YO, during and after – and it’s a paralyzing pain that so many still don’t understand. I will always keep you close to my heart. 

    • Anonymous

      Heather,

      I love you, too. And your comments made me cry on this Saturday morning. Thank you for always sticking by me through all this muckety muck. I really hope I get to meet you one day. I am so grateful to have you in my life! xoxo

  • Mad Woman

    Erin, offering my support as well. I too know this antenatal depression. While mine was never medicated, I so would have chosen this option. So kudos to you for taking care of yourself.
    And may October get here fast!

    • Anonymous

      Mad Woman,

      Thank you ever so much! It feels really good to be validated. I appreciate your taking the time to read and share your thoughts with me! ;-)

  • Sarah at The Stroller Ballet

    I’ve actually talked to several people who have experienced depression during pregnancy…and I think it is far more common than anyone talks about!! I’m sorry you’ve been going through a difficult time, but I applaud you for taking the steps to help yourself. I completely agree with your ob – it’s so important for you to feel good right now. Bravo to you for sharing – this will help other women!

    • Anonymous

      Sarah,

      Thank you so much, sweetheart. That’s one reason I posted this despite being really nervous about it. I think there are still so many ill-informed people out there, and many of them have never experienced depression themselves….and those are the people who make people like me AFRAID to talk about it! gah! Thank you for being so supportive, it means a great deal to me. xoxo

  • Rob-bear

    Having lived with depression  most of my adult life, I understand much of what you’re saying, even though I’ve never been pregnant. Best wishes for you and your “little red bean.” Shalom.

    • Anonymous

      Shalom, Rob-bear,

      Thank you for your kind words. They mean more than you know. ;-)

  • Kiminkc

    Erin, I took PAXIL both pregnancies and onward, take care of yourself and if Prozac doesn’t work then they will find something that does! Very nice post and know you’re not alone

    • Anonymous

      KiminKC-

      Thank you….I’m relieved to know I’m not alone and I’ve taken Paxil before too, only it didn’t work for me. I’m so grateful you came by to read and to leave me your thoughts. Much appreciated!

  • http://www.euro-millions.net/ Tina Modotti

    What ever works for you, assuming it’s safe.  Good luck – you children will be better people because you are taking care of yourself.

    • Anonymous

      Tina,

      Thank you! Yep, it’s safe, or there’s no way they’d let me take it. I appreciate your stopping by to read and comment!

  • Aschultze

    I know.

    People pass judgment and say, “how can you be depressed???  You’re finally pregnant.

    Like it’s a choice.

    Why would we CHOOSE to feel like this??

    Come on, people..think about that.

    • Anonymous

      Alexandra,

      You said it, sister. People just don’t get it—like I would choose to be crying all day and feeling dumpy? Kinda like why would someone choose to be gay? Not a choice. Thank you, sweet friend! xoxo

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=783977274 Rita Arens

    Great post, Erin, and good for you for taking your mental health seriously. I think those of us who teeter around with depression or anxiety are so so so especially vulnerable during pregnancy and postpartum. It’s nothing to take lightly, and I’m glad you aren’t. And I hope you are able to be still and breathe and feel peace. Take care of you.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Rita. Sorry for my late reply, was out of town with the girls visiting family. Your post inspired me to write this one…yours was incredible—the one about your eating disorder and weight issues? I have lots of catching up to do, though. I am trying to breathe and be still. It’s not easy. But definitely trying. xo

  • http://twitter.com/postpartumprogr Katherine Stone

    Great post.  Thank you for being courageous enough to share, as antenatal depression is as common as postpartum depression.  We need to make sure women know this.  Please know that you are not alone.   
    I suffered postpartum OCD after the birth of my first child.  I took Cymbalta to recover, and remained on it while pregnant with my second child.  I know it is scary to take medication, of any kind, when you are pregnant.  It’s a hard decision for any of us to make, to be sure, but I don’t think people recognize that taking care of the mom can mean also taking care of the baby.  (My daughter, by the way, is fine.)Anyway, I want you to know that you’ve got a friend in me, sister, and in everyone at Postpartum Progress.

    - K

    • Anonymous

      Katherine,

      Your comments mean so very much to me, thank you! I apologize for the tardy reply, I was out of town for a few days and came back to a ton of comments! It’s comforting to know that other women have experienced this and that I am not alone. I am glad you and your daughter are okay, and I appreciate your taking the time to stop by and say hello. THANK YOU! ;-)

  • Alejandra

    My heart goes to you.

    • Anonymous

      Alejandra,

      Thank you so much for coming by to read and for your sweet thoughts.

  • http://mamarobinj.wordpress.com/ MamaRobinJ

    Erin, you’re doing absolutely the right thing. There’s nothing wrong with being on meds while pregnant – I never thought I would but have come to accept that if (when?) we decide to have another I will be on meds. The alternative is just not okay, and people who haven’t been there can’t understand.

    I think I had antenatal depression while pregnant with my son, but I never looked into it much – I didn’t know it was actually a condition with a name until I Googled depression during pregnancy and found info about antenatal depression. Unfortunately I was unwilling to admit it, and so I never got treatment. I expect it’s partly what has made my experience with PPD so hard.

    You’re right on track. Keep on keepin’ on.

    • Anonymous

      MamaRobinJ,

      I am so sorry I am just now seeing this—we were out of town and someone must’ve plugged my post b/c I came home to an avalanche of comments. And am so grateful for honesty like yours. And you’re right—people who have been there can’t understand. But I’m relieved and comforted by the fact that YOU can and do. Your comments mean so much to me. But I’m sorry you didn’t get treatment before….and I didn’t know antenatal depression was an actual condition until recently, either! RELIEF! xoxoxox

  • Oreotruk

    You’re right. It does exist. And ypu can survive it. I know this, because I did.

    I’d been off and on depressed and OCD for half my life, seeking treatment at sometimes and just barely getting by at others. I didn’t know what to call it though, so I just called it my fits. But when I get pregnant, HOLY did the **** hit the fan. I was a complete wreck. Crying, angry, puking, resentful, homesick… my husband never knew what he would come home to on any given day.

    So I got help: first a psychologist, then a psychiatrist, then Prozac. I don’t know how comparatively “strong” my dose is, but I do know that without it I wouldn’t have made it through the pregnancy. Without it, I would be a bad mommy. With it, I feel better than I have in years. We’re trying to get pregnant again, and I have no intentions of going off of it

    Hang in there!! I had no idea it existed either, and I made it! You will too!

    • Anonymous

      Oreotruk,
       
      I am on 30 mg/Prozac daily, but I think that is low and I also think I’ll have to go up a bit…Kudos for you for doing the right thing, seeking help & treatment. I’m also relieved to “meet” another mom who feels similarly and knows what I am going through. Thank you for sharing yourself in the comments! ;-)

  • Anonymous

    Reading all these comments along with your post has made me so much less alone. I had ppd with my first child, and then ended up on a mood stabilizer after the ppd cleared for mood swings and mdd. We got knocked up 10 weeks ago and the trileptal had to go. I was good for about 3 weeks before the depression crushed me…again. So with the help of three doctors I trust, I decided to take celexa throughout the pregnancy and after. I’m just starting to feel like myself again and I know for sure that without the meds, I couldnt be the mom or person I want to be. Being medicated during pregnancy is the best decision I could make for me, my baby-to-be, my family, and my toddler.

    • Anonymous

      LearnedHappiness,

      Excuse my tardy reply, have been out of town….I am so sorry the depression came back, but you’re right—we’re not alone. And it’s better to be medicated and feel like ourselves again. I am seeing my psychiatrist today and just went up on my meds—but haven’t noticed anything yet. I know it’s too soon. But I’m impatient b/c I HATE feeling this way. I know you know. THANK YOU so much for sharing here in the comments. HUGS to you!

  • Happydealhappyday

    THANK YOU for writing this.  I thought I beat PPD completely.  But being off meds for 3 months, I’ve hit rock bottom once again and am going back on Prozac myself.  I wanted to fight tooth and nail to be drug free for when we try for baby #2.  Reading this has encouraged me so that I’m making the right decision to take care of me, and realize taking Prozac while pregnant isn’t the end of the world.

    • Anonymous

      Happydealhappyday,

      THANK YOU. I don’t even really have any words. It means so much to me that you stopped by to share your experience with me. So now NEITHER of us needs to feel so alone. And you are 100% right—Prozac isn’t the end of the world—-happier mommy = happier kids. XOXO Sorry for the late reply, we were out of town!!

  • http://twitter.com/AlishaSommer Alisha

    I hope you aren’t being too hard on yourself and that in addition to seeing your psychiatrist that you are also seeing a therapist to help you work through it.  It’s not bad for you to take what you need while you are pregnant.  My OB told me that studies showed that the moms who didn’t take meds but really needed it are the ones whose kids showed signs of issues.  No body is happy and healthy if MOMMY isn’t happy and healthy.  From one mom on meds (pregnant with her 3rd) to another, it will be okay.

    • Anonymous

      Alisha,

      I apologize for the unusually late reply, we’ve been out of town! Thank you so much for coming by and for your support. It means a lot to me to know I’m not alone, even though I sure feel that way a lot of the time.My doctor agrees w/ you—happy mom is happy baby. So that is what we are working on. I haven’t noticed any improvement yet, but I know it can take some time to kick in. I am seeing my psychiatrist this afternoon, actually….thank you again!!! xo

  • TJ @ Any Given Moment

    I just love you Erin.  Thanks so much for sharing this- I feel that much closer to you :) and I respect you that much more (nah, that’s not possible, I totally already thought you were the coolest gal around!!!)

     

    • Anonymous

      TJ,

      I miss you so much, I have been such a bad bloggy friend. Thank you for coming by to read this and leave me some love. Did some angel send you over? I haven’t been posting very much…for lots of reasons. But need to get back on track. How are you guys? XOXOXOXOX

  • http://aladyinfrance.com Lady Jennie

    I took zoloft throughout all three pregnancies because it has the least trace found in breastmilk.  I think I will always struggle with depression and my issue with the antidepressants is not the stigma, but that it really makes it hard for me to lose weight.  (I gained so much on Celexa the year we were in Africa and I was unable to change the treatment during that year).  I’ve never been even close to my wedding weight since then.

    As you know, take care of you.  Sending you love.

    • Anonymous

      Jennie,

      Sorry I am so late replying to this, we were out of town. I so appreciate your honesty and telling me all this in the comments. I’ve gained weight, too—from my thyroid stuff as well as the meds and now the pregnancy, which doesn’t help things. I kind of hate myself. Blech. But you stopping by to share this? Makes me feel not so lonely. Thank you, Jennie.

  • Aunt Juicebox

    Oh Erin, I’m so sorry. I never enjoyed my (one and only) pregnancy because I was so young and inexperienced and scared because I didn’t know how I was going to support her. It’s rough when you know that you should be happy and excited, and albeit for a different reason, I understand this. Hang in there, sweetie.

    • Anonymous

      Aunt Juicebox,

      Nice to see you, thank you so much for stopping by. I am grateful for your sweet comments and your understanding. It means a lot to me—-so many supportive people stopping by, realizing I’m not as alone as I thought—so nice! Thank you again! Miss you!

  • http://twitter.com/AdrienneSFTS Adrienne

    I haven’t been by since motherload. Love the new look/blog. As any other time I’ve stopped by, another honest post. I have been struggling with some depression (have all my life with depression and anxiety) and it’s time to do something about it. I hope you start feeling better. I sucks to feel like crap, especially when you have such a  good reason to feel good! Congrats on your pregnancy!

    • Anonymous

      Adrienne,

      Thank you so much for coming by! I, too, have been dealing with depression and anxiety for many years (off and on). We upped my meds and I haven’t noticed a change yet. Keeping my fingers crossed though. I am sorry you are struggling with depression as well—I know it’s no picnic. I hope you’re able to get some relief soon. If you ever want to talk, I am here! Thanks for visiting me and letting me know I’m not alone!

  • http://twitter.com/marsha Marsha Keeffer

    PPD is very tough.  The entire Hallmark version of pregnancy sets up a false bar – glad you’re being real and taking care of yourself! 

    • Anonymous

      Marsha,

      Sorry I am so late replying to this, was out of town. I agree with you on the Hallmark facade! BOO, HISS! People need to be more open/real/honest about their other experiences and then maybe women like me wouldn’t feel so isolated./

  • http://www.adayinmollywood.com molly

    I’m late on this. I actually just saw you post on the KC Blogger facebook page. I too am in KC and am a blogger.

    And when I read the above post I thought NO WAY! Because I suffered with antenatal depression during my second pregnancy and had to take medication to get through it before my son was born.

    I write a lot about depressive episodes as brought on by bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, I just had to write about it recently because I am suffering from an episode of depression right now.

    Anyway, I just thought you would like to know that you’re not alone in your depression during pregnancy and as a whole.

    Hope to meet you via one of the KC Blogger meet ups!

    • Anonymous

      Molly,

      Thank you so much for coming by, fellow KC blogger! I am sad I missed the meetup, this week has been insanely busy. I appreciate your kind words more than you know—it’s always so nice to be reassured that I’m not alone and that others have gone through this as well….I will have to stop by your blog soon! ;-)

  • Neuffj

    Erin – I feel I haven’t been a great friend.  I miss talking to you!  I am hoping that we can reconnect again.  I am sorry you are going through some depression right now.  It’s hard struggling with depression, I know!  Just because you are depressed doesn’t mean that you are weird or wrong for not being hyper-ecstatic about the baby.  It just means you are human!  I love you girl

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Jenna. I appreciate it more than I can say. I miss talking to you, too! I have just been in this funk and having a hard time getting out of it. I appreciate your support, though. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  • Courtney @ Cooking Up A Family

    WHat a beautiful blog post. I love how open you are and how beautiful of a story you are able to tell. I had a stillbirth at the end of my second pregnancy and to this day, 2 year later and another sweet baby who is here with me, i still have PPD at times. Its something I like with and it helps to share and know others are fighting to get centered too. 

    I came over to your site through #blogKC and glad I did your blog is beautiful!

    • Anonymous

      Courtney,

      Your comments mean the world to me, and I am so sorry for your loss. I appreciate your stopping by to read and share your insights with me. It’s always good to know I’m not alone. Did you make it to the meetup the other night? I was sad to miss it, my schedule has been insane. I will have to come by your blog soon—thank you again for the visit!!

  • Terri

    Hi Erin,
    I’m new to your blog, via twitter so coming to this rather late.
     I too am mom to twin girls (8) and a boy (11). I too suffered with PPD and Antenatal Depression, still struggle today if truth be told. 
    I would love if someone would follow a real life mom around for the whole pregnancy and 1 year post pregnacy, and document the truth.
    It is such a sharp learning curve with added torture of sleep deprivation, that anyone suffering with even mild depression can be totally overwhelmed. 
    I have taken St John’s Wort as a herbal anti-depressant and found it fantastic, but do take whatever works for you.
    A depressed mom does not make for happy children.
    Great post, and congratulations on this latest bump.
    will be reading regularly from now on :-)

  • Lauren

    As I am desperately searching for information on depression during pregnancy I came across your post. I’m wondering how you are doing today?

    • Anonymous

      Hi L auren,

      I’m so sorry I’m so late replying to this, I’m terrible about checking my gmail account as I only use it for the blog.

      I am doing much better now, thanks to an increase in my dosage. I still don’t love that I have to take the stuff, but I really don’t have a choice.
      Is there anything I can do to help you? I’m an open book & happy to talk about it. ;-)
      Erin

  • Leia

    I am struugling right now with staying on Zoloft. My Dad and best friend both have talked to me about the side effects and danger to my baby. My doctor said she would wean me off in the 3rd trimester. I have told my loved ones thta, but they still persist. I am feeling very torn and guilty because I want to stay on Zoloft. This made me feel better.

  • Maura

    Yay – not the only one who is HAPPY to be on prozac while pregnant!!